Manufacturers have an obligation to make safe and reliable products that do not injure consumers. When a manufacturer breaks this obligation, it can be held liable for any harm caused by its defective product.
If you or someone you love has been injured by a defective product, you may be entitled to file a claim against the product’s manufacturer, wholesaler or distributor. At Roden Law, our Macon product liability lawyers are well-versed in Georgia’s consumer protection laws. We are staunch defenders of consumers’ rights and will fight to hold a manufacturer liable for a defective product that harms a consumer.
Do not hesitate to schedule a free, no obligation consultation with one of our skilled product liability attorneys in Macon. Our legal team has decades of combined experience protecting victims of personal injury and defective products from negligent corporations. We have recovered millions in verdicts and settlements for past clients and will strive to obtain maximum compensation for your claim. All of our services are provided at no upfront cost and we will only charge you if we obtain a favorable outcome for your claim.
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What is Product Liability?
Product liability refers to an area of law in which manufacturers, distributors, suppliers and retailers of products made available to public consumers are held responsible for the injuries and damage caused by those defective products.
In Georgia, product liability claims are based on strict liability or negligence. This means you do not have to prove the product’s manufacturer was at fault to bring a product liability claim. Instead, you must show all of the following:
- The at-fault party manufactured, sold or distributed the product.
- The product was defective when it left the control of the manufacturer, seller or distributor.
- The product’s defective condition caused the injury.
A product is required to meet the average expectations of a consumer. This means if the product is used correctly, it should work safely and as it was intended. If a product is used correctly, but harms its user or has an unexpected defect, the manufacturer can be held liable for any resulting damage or injury.
Georgia’s Statute of Limitations for Product Liability Claims
If you believe you were injured after using a defective product, do not hesitate to contact an attorney as soon as possible. In Georgia, you have a two-year statute of limitations to file a claim after being injured by a defective product. The deadline begins on the date the injury occurred, according O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33.
Likewise, if you suffered property damage because of a defective product, O.C.G.A. § 9-3-31 dictates that you have four years to file a claim in Georgia. This deadline also begins on the date your property was damaged by a defective product.
However, Georgia has a 10-year statute of repose in which all product liability claims must be filed with a court. This means that regardless of when you discovered that you were injured by a defective product, you must file your claim within 10 years of when the injury occurred, according to O.C.G.A. § 51-1-11(b)(2).
If you fail to meet the statute of limitations that applies to your claim, you will likely be barred from pursuing compensation from the at-fault party.
Types of Defective Products
Unfortunately, consumers are injured every day by products that are flawed or designed poorly. Some products often included in product liability claims are:
- Dangerous medications
- Defective medical devices
- Automobile and motorcycle parts
- Dangerous household products
- Talcum powder
- Defective air bags
- Defective tires
- Defective pesticides
- Defective hip replacements
- Defective knee replacements
- Dangerous children’s toys
- Harmful cosmetic products
- Defective construction equipment
- Electronic devices
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How Do I Know If I Have a Product Liability Claim?
To pursue a claim for a defective product, certain elements must be present regarding your injury and the product that harmed you. During your consultation, our Macon product liability lawyers will review your claim to determine if:
- You were injured or suffered losses
- The product is defective
- The defect caused your injury
- You were using the product as it was intended
Additionally, to bring a successful product liability claim in Georgia, you will need to show that the product was unreasonably dangerous or in a defective condition when the manufacturer distributed it to the market.
You will need to prove the product that injured you was more dangerous than the average consumer should have expected. Furthermore, you will need to prove that a corporation or manufacturer with good judgement would not release the product.
However, this does not mean the product’s manufacturer was aware of the risk it posed to consumers. Rather, this indicates that had the manufacturer known the product was especially dangerous, it would not have marketed it to consumers.
Similarly, you may bring a product liability claim against a manufacturer of a product that was inherently defective. This means the product never worked as it was marketed to consumers even when it was used correctly.
If you were injured by a product with an inherent defect, our Macon product liability attorneys will review three factors to determine if you have a case. These include:
- Design defect: The product’s defect resulted from a design flaw that existed before it was manufactured.
- Manufacturing defect: The product’s defect was created during the manufacturing process.
- Marketing defect: The product was improperly marketed, lacks efficient instructions for users or fails to adequately warn consumers about its dangers or risks.
Typically, a defective product must be in the same shape or condition as when it was released by the manufacturer or sold to the consumer. A Macon product liability attorney can examine the product that caused you harm to determine if it was originally defective or became damaged after long-term use.
For help with your defective product claim, call 1-844-RESULTS.
Common Product Liability Claims
Georgia’s product liability laws require the manufacturer, distributor and seller of a product assume liability for injuries caused by a product that is defective in its design, manufacture or marketing.
Our product liability attorneys in Macon will examine a defective product to determine if the manufacturer was negligent in releasing it to the market. To prove negligence, we will need to show the manufacturer’s carelessness in designing or producing the product led to your injuries. This means we will need to prove four elements existed to successfully file a negligence claim:
- The manufacturer had a duty to sell a safe and reliable product
- The manufacturer breached its duty and sold a product it knew was defective
- The manufacturer’s negligence directly caused your injury
- You suffered damages as a result of the manufacturer’s negligence
Typically, product liability claims are pursued under the theory of strict liability. This means you are only required to prove the product was defective and you suffered harm as a result.
If you are able to prove the product is defective, the manufacturer can be held strictly liable for any resulting damages, regardless of whether it exercised caution and care when assembling the product.
However, to file a claim under strict liability, you must have purchased the product in the chain of distribution, either from a retailer or wholesaler. If you bought the product from a second-hand source, you cannot file a claim under strict liability.
Breach of Warranty
Warranties are promises made by the manufacturer that the product can be used in a certain way or is safe for certain functions.
There are two types of warranties that manufacturers place on products that consumers can rely on:
- Express warranty: This includes any representation about the product and its safety explicitly made by the manufacturer or retailer. This can include labels or advertisements that make specific claims about the product.
- Implied Warranty: This type of warranty is not explicitly stated by the manufacturer, but is instead based on the reasonable expectations of the consumer. This includes the assumption by a consumer that a product is safe to be used as intended.
During our free consultation, our product liability lawyers in Macon will discuss the circumstances behind your injury to determine how we may handle your claim. If we find the manufacturer of your product is at fault for your injury, we will diligently pursue any course of legal action available to recover the compensation you deserve.
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Compensation for a Product Liability Claim
If you or someone you love has been harmed by a defective product, you may be entitled to compensation for your injury and financial loss.
During your initial consultation with our Macon product liability attorneys, we will analyze several elements in your defective product claim to reach a fair and accurate amount of compensation you may be owed. This includes:
- Past and future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Cost for rehabilitation
Modified Comparative Negligence
Under the rule of modified comparative negligence, you cannot recover damages if you were 50 percent or more at fault for causing your injury.
However, if you are found to be less than 50 percent at fault, you can still recover damages, but they will be reduced by the percentage for which you are at fault. This means if you are filing a claim for $100,000 and are 30 percent at fault for your injury, the value of your claim will be reduced to $70,000, according to O.C.G.A. § 51-12-33.
Georgia’s Limits on Punitive Damages
In some cases, a manufacturer’s negligence or recklessness may be severe enough that a court will award the victim punitive damages.
This financial award is not meant to compensate the victim for his or her loss. Rather, punitive damages are intended to impose a monetary punishment on the at-fault party.
However, Georgia’s product liability laws limit the amount of punitive damages you can collect in some cases. Under O.C.G.A. § 51-12-5.1, 75 percent of the punitive damages you are awarded in product liability cases is collected by the state.
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Contact a Seasoned Product Liability Lawyer in Macon
If you believe you or someone you love was injured after using a defective product, it may be in your best interest to consult with an experienced product liability attorney in Macon.
At Roden Law, we understand the devastation that a defective product can cause to unsuspecting consumers. Our Macon product liability attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of injured consumers and will relentlessly pursue your claim to obtain the justice and compensation you deserve.
Do not wait to contact a member of our skilled legal team for qualified help with your product liability claim. We provide all of our services on a contingency fee basis. This means all of our attorneys work for no upfront cost and will only charge you legal fees if you recover compensation for your claim.